Childhood Counselling: A Guide for Parents

Before your child starts counselling, it can be useful to find out about the process as much as possible. Counsellors are trained to be non-judgemental, but you may still feel uncomfortable about the whole process and how it might affect your child. It can help if you think about why counselling is helpful for children, what types of problems make counselling recommended and how to support your child throughout the process.

Rationale for counselling

Counselling is recommended when emotional or behavioural problems haven't responded to other interventions, such as parenting advice or educational support services. It can also identify and deal with issues in a child's life that could impact the future if left untreated.

Types of problems that can be helped by counselling

Counselling can help with a range of issues, including:


Bullying can happen at school or amongst siblings. An essential part of the counselling process is to find out precisely what is happening and how it makes your child feel, so that appropriate steps can be taken to address the issue and help your child process any trauma.


When a child is constantly anxious, for example, about going to school or sleeping in their own bed, counselling can help them be clear on why they feel anxious and provide strategies for coping with anxiety.


When a child's stress levels seem very high, counselling can help them understand what has caused it and how they can cope.

Low self-esteem 

Counselling can help a child understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with negative feelings about themselves.

How will your child benefit from counselling?

Counselling can provide your child with a safe and confidential space to explore the issues which concern them. The counselling process can be made easier by involving parents, but ultimately your child will drive the direction of the sessions.

Who provides counselling?

There are a range of people who may provide counselling for children, including:


Psychologists often have training in counselling as well as more specific psychological approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).


Psychiatrists usually offer talking therapies, but they can also prescribe medicine.

Mental health social workers

Mental health social workers often provide support and counselling for children who are in the local authority's care. They're also responsible for ensuring that children and young people are protected.

If you would like to find out more, contact a counselling service today.